Monday, May 20, 2019

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 20.5.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
  • Several town hall boobs across the country.
  • B awful news
  • Ten things that Think Spain thinks Spain does better than any other country. Residents of other fine countries might take exception to one or two of them.
  • Interesting to see that the Galician Xunta is finally going to do something - expropriation possibly - about the many ruined houses that litter the region. 
The UK and Brexit
  • Richard North this morning: At the moment, the only news we should be considering is that which addresses measures to get the Withdrawal Agreement ratified in parliament – thence to bring us a transition period and the opening of trade negotiations – or preparations for a no deal exit. Instead, we are indulging in a tsunami of trivia at the expense of serious politics, dwelling on the irrelevant with an agenda devoid of serious content.
The USA/Shysters Corner
Camino Notes: Day 4: "Quiroga" to Monforte de Lemos. c. 20km

  • Another brilliant day's walking with Geoff Jones yesterday, under the sun and with a cool breeze early on. This really is a beautiful and delightful - if tough in parts - camiño. As Geoff's fotos here will surely show.
  • The big bonus was that, after a steep climb at the outset - 20km from Monforte de Lemos - and another one 15km later, today's route was either scenically flat or even downhill. Which helped to prevent my right foot acting up, I suspect.
  • For the first time - in the less hilly terrain - we came across dairy cows and bee-hives. Though not in the same field. And plenty of farm dogs - virtually all chained - including this hilarious performer:-

    • Here are some of said cows, in Vilarmao. Which maybe should be Vilarmoo . . . .

    • Highlights of our day:-
    o We actually met our first fellow pilgrim in 4 days - Johannes from Austria, who stopped briefly to       chat to us and then left us in his dust. He'd been the only person sleeping in the Chantada albergue the night before - capacity 150. I said I'd send Geoff to snore next to him if he was daft enough to tell us where he'd be staying last night. He wasn't.
    o Just before A Pobra de Brollón we were startled when a wild boar shot across the path not 10m in front of us, followed by her 4 boar-lets. And then another mother with hers. I suspect we were lucky there was no sharp-tusked-male among the group.
    o Stopping for refreshment in A Pobra, we were glad-handed by the PSOE candidate for the mayoralty of the town. After he'd got over his disappointment at the fact we weren't voters, he chatted enthusiastically about his plans to develop the Camino Invierno. I assured him that, in 10 years, there'd be at least 10,000 pilgrims a year passing through his rather lovely town. Against 2,000 this year and only 1,000 last year. And when we told him we were so impressed by it that we were thinking of investing in its growth, he got positively euphoric and suggested we join him in developing this old Guardia Civil barracks into a combined albergue and ethnographic museum:-

    And then I was foolish enough to give him my phone number. Here's the chap in question, being shockingly tactile, to (British) Geoff at least:-

    • By the way, our friend told us of the wolves in the hills above the town who preyed on wild boars.
    • Speaking about Geoff, he had one or two wrinkles with some of his apps today. I stifled my amusement at his (mild) cursing . . . In contrast, with no rain today, he had no cause to laugh at my battle with my cape.
    • One of Geoff's impressive capabilities is to map the most efficient walking route on various sites. Fortunately, this usually coincides with the official camiño, as shown by the yellow arrows. I say 'fortunately' because it annoys Geoff when it doesn't. Happily, this only happened once today, a mere 5-8 minutes from our meeting with the non-walking member of our troupe. I was happier to trust Geoff than the arrows. A wise decision, as it turned out. Todo bien que termina bien. 
    • On to Chantada and it first-prize-winning blue cheese today. 


    sally in norfolk said...

    So you have experienced Geoff snoring .... only the strong or deaf can cope with it :-)

    Colin Davies said...

    No, not really. Just once at 5.25, his 'peak snoring' moment according to app no. 327. . .